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Slow as Sunday: Dealing with videogame burnout

Posted by: Nathan at 11/1/2009 4:29 PM
Tis the season of videogame release dates. From now until the beginning of next year reviewers and players alike will be bombarded by a large number of AAA titles that many of us have been waiting for since their announcement a year or more ago. Already I’m feeling overwhelmed by the number of great games that are coming out and have stopped caring about the hype associated with big name titles. How does one deal with videogame burnout? Let us explore some possibilities.

Take your time
You get that one title you’ve been waiting for all year and then realize that just one week from now you’ll also be picking up your pre-order for another title you’ve been wanting to play. Soon you’ll be sitting down for your nightly video game fun faced with the choice of which two game you will spend time with. This may sound like a problem that a hardcore gamer would want to have, more choices between great games, but it can be difficult to make a decision. The best way to solve this problem is realize a simple truth; you do not have to play a game because you own it. Take your time getting to the next game on your list. Your brain will be much better off focusing on one epic game at a time rather than bouncing back and forth between two story lines.

Moderation

You’ve finally got that 100 hour epic RPG and can’t wait to get started creating a customizing your character. Before you put the finishing touches on the nose of your new mage/fighter half elf an hour has already flown by and you don’t even know what the premise of the story is yet. There are those games that hold our attention for a very long time and we escape into a well crafted virtual world for the better part of our free time. Beware burnout! If you know that a game will take you the better part of a month to complete then plan some days where you don’t touch the game at all. I’m sure there are those who can afford to submerge themselves completely in a game, but my rule is that when I start dreaming about the video game it’s time to cut back on how often I play it.

Socialize
 You just beat that game you’ve been playing for two weeks and you can’t wait to tell your friends. Then you realize that you haven’t called your friends and have hardly left your home for two weeks. Staying connected to the outside world is essential in avoiding videogame burn out. I’m not talking about chatting on forums or posting your recent achievement on face book. Step out of the virtual world and connect with real people. The familiar virtual worlds of video games have rules and mechanics that will become familiar to the point of seeming second nature. Refresh your mind by interacting with one of the most unpredictable and entertaining of nature’s creatures; humans.

These are only three different methods for three different problems and videogame burnout can take on many different forms. Fortunately most can be solved simply by prioritizing and managing your time with videogames in order to keep things fresh. Please share your own solutions for video game burnout in the comments section and if you want to read more of my personal musings on life and videogames check out my blog.